UFC 95 Predictions by the Bloody Elbow Staff: The Undercard

Terry Etim vs. Brian Cobb

Kid Nate: If Cobb wasn't coming in on short notice, this would be a much tougher pick as Cobb's powerful, experienced and has a strong wrestling background.  However, Etim has shown he can handle a tough wrestler by choking out Matt Grice. Etim by submission.

Brent Brookhouse: I don't think it is crazy to think that Cobb is the better fighter here.  The problem is that coming in on short notice means that winning early in the fight would be the best thing for Cobb.  Unfortunately for him, Etim is a very durable guy.  I don't know that either guy can finish the other so I'm going to play it safe.  Terry Etim by decision.

Mike Rome:  I think Etim is going to survive an early onslaught and submit Cobb in the second or third.  Etim via submission.

Nick Thomas: Cobb coming in as a last minute replacement and will get the UFC debut jitters. These guys are actually pretty evenly matched. So I'm going with the height and reach advantage on Etim. Etim by submission.

Michael Fagan: Seems like one of those trap fights, but Cobb's on short notice and Etim's much better standing.  Etim by TKO, round 2.

Cannon Jacques:  Etim will be fighting in his home country, and has quite a lot of UFC experience.  Cobb is coming in on short notice to make his UFC debut in front of a hostile crowd.  Nearly everything points toward the Brit taking this one.  Etim via submission, round 1.

Junior Dos Santos vs. Stefan Struve

Kid Nate: Despite his win over Werdum, I'm not quite convinced that dos Santos is for real at heavyweight and Struve is a behemoth. Struve's wins have been impressive and I'm not convinced dos Santos' ground game is all that. Struve by submission.

Brent Brookhouse: I'm not entirely sold on dos Santos yet, the KO over Werdum was good and it wasn't a "lucky punch" it was well timed and well executed.  Struve's fight with Mario Neto was REALLY impressive to me though.  Neto got his blackbelt from Carlson Gracie and only had one loss since 2000.  Struve got his guard passed a few times and fought from his back for the majority of the fight but he used his hips extremely well to avoid taking damage or letting Neto really set up anything while Stefan himself was transitioning though submission attempts and setting up sweeps en route to finishing with an arm triangle from the back.  It was a very active 2 rounds on the ground and Stefan never looked even close to winding.  Weathering adversity like that shows me more than a knockout in a little over a minute.  I'm taking the upset here.  Stefan Struve by submission, round 2.

Mike Rome:  I think both guys are pretty good.  I think Dos Santos is going to catch him, his kickboxing is excellent.  I wouldn't be surprised either way.  Dos Santos via KO, round 2.

Nick Thomas: I'm still impressed with Dos Santos's Werdum KO.  But can he do it again? I don't think so. Struve hasn't lost since 2005. As long as Struve can weather the first round, he can take this. Undercard Upset #1. Struve by submission.

Michael Fagan: I'm not about to call dos Santos a HW force, but I think he's on the right track.  Cheers to the UFC for not fast tracking him either.  I think he keeps it rolling here.  dos Santos by TKO, round 1.

Cannon Jacques:  Struve desperately needs to take this fight to the ground early.  He'll have to avoid the powerful striking of "Cigano" in order to do so.  Dos Santos isn't the big underdog he was against Werdum, but I think a similar result is very possible.  Dos Santos by KO, round 1.

Neil Grove vs. Mike Ciesnolevicz

Kid Nate: Ciesnolevicz is giving up a huge amount of size here as a light heavy coming in on short notice against a giant. Grove is a big spaz with no technique that I've seen but the size and power advantage should work in his favor. Grove by KO.

Brent Brookhouse:  Grove is BIG and he hits HARD.  He does have awful technique and his cardio has been shown to be fairly poor.  Mike is the more technical guy but he is a natural 205 pounder and I don't think he'll be used to feeling the kind of power that Grove brings.  If he can drag it past the first round I think Ciesnolevicz can start to work his game a little but I don't think he manages to not get KO'ed in the first.  Neil Grove by KO, round 1.

Mike Rome:  Grova via KO.

Nick Thomas: Ciesnolevicz said after this fight he will be going to 205 again win or lose. Because of that, I'm going to pick the natural HW who is actually the underdog right now. Undercard Upset #2. Grove by TKO.

Michael Fagan: Grove by TKO, round 1.

Cannon Jacques:  Ciesnolevicz is a former light heavyweight who is replacing the injured Justin McCully.  Grove is a solid British heavyweight, and is absolutely huge.  I believe the size of Grove will just be too much for Ciesnolevicz.  Grove by TKO, round 2.

Per Eklund vs. Evan Dunham

Kid Nate: Its like the entire undercard involves last minute replacements. Eklund should be able to take advantage of Dunham's lack of conditioning and get the win. Eklund by submission.

Brent Brookhouse:  This is basically Etim vs. Cobb II.  Dunham is a late replacement guy and while he has skills Per is a little more slick and shouldn't be intimidated by the UFC stage at this point.  Per Eklund by submission, round 2.

Mike Rome:  I think Eklund has too much experience and will get a submission over his last minute opponent.  Eklund via submisison, round 1.

Nick Thomas: Dunham comes in as a last minute replacement and will get the debut UFC jitters. Eklund with experience by decision.

Michael Fagan: Late replacements are fun.  Eklund by decision.

Cannon Jacques:  The experience edge definitely goes to Eklund.  Dunham shouldn't be a pushover; he's solid on the ground with a wrestling pedigree.  In the end, Eklund will use his experience to outwit his opponent on the mat.  Eklund by submission, round 3.

Paul Kelly vs. Troy Mandaloniz

Kid Nate: Paul Kelly is someone the UFC is cultivating as a major part of their UK plans. He's good on the feet, so so on the ground, but Mandaloniz is bad on the ground and is someone the UFC will likely cut with a loss here. Kelly by TKO.

Brent Brookhouse:  Kelly has better standup, Kelly is better on the ground.  Kelly is fighting at "home."  Kelly is going to win.  Paul Kelly by TKO, round 3.

Mike Rome:  Real bad fight for Mandaloniz, whose only strength is an area Kelly is better at.  Paul Kelly via TKO, round 2.

Nick Thomas: Wolfslair fighter Kelly will take this the ground once he realizes his stand up isn't working. From there Kelly wins by TKO.

Michael Fagan: Mandalnoiz probably bounces after this one.  Kelly by decision.

Cannon Jacques:  Mandaloniz is a one-dimensional standup fighter despite being a training partner of B.J. Penn.  Kelly also prefers to stand; the difference being that his striking is better than that of Mandaloniz.  Kelly by decision.

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